Weighty Matters

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It’s Not How You Fall, It’s How You Bounce Back

on July 1, 2013

The title of this post is a still-slightly-new-to-me attitude that I’m trying to ingrain in my head so that I can reinforce good recovery behavior.

I have a history of yo-yo dieting.  I could go great guns for months on some diet or another and lose a good chunk of my chunkiness right until the day I fell off of the proverbial dieting wagon.  At first I didn’t understand that this was my compulsive overeater’s version of a relapse.  I only knew that once I went off track of the diet plan, I couldn’t seem to steer myself back on course.  I didn’t bounce back.  When I fell, splat, that was it.  Diet over and the lost weight was regained in short order.  To add insult to injury, those pounds usually brought along friends and I ended up weighing more than I did before I started the diet.

Emotionally, that pattern “dissed” me — as in dismayed, discouraged, disappointed, and, eventually, dissolved my motivation to try again.

There’s a lot of emotional and physical suckitude inherent in that lose/gain/succeed/fail pattern.   If I’ve had any lingering fear during this whole journey, it’s that my history would repeat.  Even after weight loss surgery, it’s possible to screw up the process and regain all of the lost poundage.  How’s that for a horrifying thought?

Trust me, I have pondered a lot about how to counteract such an established behavior cycle.  Looking at myself with complete, no bullshit honesty, I knew that I would not be “perfect” on my food plan for the rest of my life.  Falls were going to happen.  If I truly wanted long term success, I needed to take on the challenge of developing a new pattern.

That’s when I began to consider more than how I could prevent falls.  Not falling would not be enough to succeed in my new lifestyle.  I needed to learn how to bounce back after it happened.   But how?  The first step, I came to understand, was to believe that I could bounce back.  Being imperfect was okay and didn’t mean that every effort put forth before the fall was ruined or doomed.   I could and would get back on my feet, on my plan.

Secondly, I couldn’t fool myself.  Just because I accepted that I would be imperfect, and even that there would be times when I consciously decided to veer from the plan, I had to maintain awareness and rigorous honesty.  I have an eating disorder.  There is a world of difference between making the choice to eat off of my plan, and doing so compulsively without thought.  If I don’t support my own awareness, then compulsive eating takes over and sets up a pattern of thoughtless eating bite after bite after bite.  I don’t bounce back from that my friends.  I crawl and try to pull myself up off of the ground.

There’s more to consider and ponder, but for right now, these steps are a good start.  For the last 17 months, I’ve had long periods of great success with steady, rapid weight loss, times of stalled weight loss, and a couple of vacations where I put back on a few pounds.  I have not, however, experienced crashing to the ground and not being able to get back on track at all.  I’m not yo-yoing.  This is good for my confidence.  It helps to ease my underlying fear that I will eventually regain all of my weight.  I’m learning, by experiencing positive actions, that it’s possible to bounce back onto the wagon and return to the recovery road.

One response to “It’s Not How You Fall, It’s How You Bounce Back

  1. Skye says:

    This is terrific news. It’s such an important realization and mindset, that you can actually bounce back! I love reading your posts because your strength, commitment, and learning come through so thoroughly. And, you are inspiring via all those things.

    I’m happy for you.

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